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Greetings to each and everyone of you.


This section for English-speaking viewers –
and all those enjoying the culture –

has developed over the months and is now offering materials of all kinds:

texts, images, poems, videos, etc.

It will continue to provide you with rich contents week after week.

 

International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking – 26 June

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking falls on June 26 each year to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent to society. This day is supported by individuals, communities and various organizations all over the world.

Governments, organizations and individuals in many countries, including Vietnam, Borneo and Thailand, have actively participated in promotional events and larger scale activities, such as public rallies and mass media involvement, to promote the awareness of dangers associated with illicit drugs.

Background

According to the UNODC, nearly 200 million people are using illicit drugs such as cocaine, cannabis, hallucinogens, opiates and sedative hypnotics worldwide. In December 1987 the UN General Assembly decided to observe June 26 as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The UN was determined to help create an international society free of drug abuse. This resolution recommended further action with regard to the report and conclusions of the 1987 International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

Following the resolution, the years 1991 to 2000 were heralded as the “United Nations Decade Against Drug Abuse”. In 1998 the UN General Assembly adopted a political declaration to address the global drug problem. The declaration expresses UN members’ commitment to fighting the problem.

Source: Text: timeanddate.com  

 

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture – 26 June

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is annually observed on June 26 to remind people that human torture is not only unacceptable – it is also a crime.

What Do People Do?
Rehabilitation centers and human rights organizations around the world celebrate the UN’s International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on June 26 each year. The day serves as a reminder to people that torture is a crime. This event gives everyone a chance to unite and voice their opinions against human torture.

Background
On June 26, 1987, the Convention against Torture came into force. It was an important step in the process of globalizing human rights and acknowledging that torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment should be universally illegal. In 1997 the United Nations General Assembly decided to mark this historic date and designated June 26 each year as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

The first International Day in Support of Victims of Torture was held on June 26, 1998. It was a day when the United Nations appealed to all governments and members of civil society to take action to defeat torture and torturers everywhere. That same year marked the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which proclaims that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.

 Source: Text: timeanddate.com Image: Cathobel

 

World Refugee Day – 20 June

The United Nations’ (UN) World Refugee Day is observed on June 20 each year. This event honors the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.

People honor the spirit and courage of millions of refugees worldwide on World Refugee Day. It is a day to recognize the contributions of refugees in their communities. Organizations such as Amnesty International and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) often get involved in various activities for the day.

Background
For years, many countries and regions have been holding their own events similar to World Refugee Day. One of the most widespread events is Africa Refugee Day, which is celebrated on June 20 in many countries. the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to express its solidarity with Africa on December 4, 2000.

The resolution noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the status of refugees, and that the Organization of African Unity (OAU) agreed to have International Refugee Day coincide with Africa Refugee Day on June 20. The Assembly therefore decided that June 20 would be celebrated as World Refugee Day from 2001 onwards. This day was designated by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to bring attention to the plight of approximately 14 million refugees around the world.

Source: Text: timeanddate.com Image: iine.org

 

 

International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict – 19 June

International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict is a United Nations observance on June 19 to raise awareness of the need to put an end to conflict-related sexual violence.

The resolution was adopted by the UN General Assembly on June 19, 2015. The date marks the Security Council resolution 1820 (2008), where sexual violence as a tactic of war was condemned.

Conflict-Related Sexual Violence
The UN defines conflict-related sexual violence as a term that « (…) refers to rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, enforced sterilization, forced marriage, and any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity perpetrated against women, men, girls or boys that is directly or indirectly linked (temporally, geographically or causally) to a conflict ».

Wartime Strategy
The day was created, not only to raise awareness but to honor survivors of sexual violence and to pay tribute to all those who have devoted and lost their lives around the world when standing up against these crimes.

« Sexual violence is now widely recognized as a deliberate strategy used to shred the fabric of society; to control and intimidate communities and to force people from their homes. It is rightly seen as a threat to international peace and security, a serious violation of international humanitarian and human rights law, and a major impediment to post-conflict reconciliation and economic development, » stated Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary-General.

Source: Text: timeanddate.com   Image: Journée mondiale

 

World Day to Combat Desertification – 17 June

LAND HAS TRUE VALUE. INVEST IN IT.

The World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD) will be celebrated worldwide on 17 June with the focus on sustainable land management as a way to regenerate economies, create jobs and revitalize communities. Under the slogan “Land has true value – Invest in it,” WDCD2018 will call all involved – producers, consumers and policy makers – to make a difference by investing in the future of land.

The WDCD2018 global observance will be hosted by the Government of Ecuador. The country promotes sustainable land management as one of the pillars of bio-economy – the knowledge-based production and utilization of biological resources, innovative biological processes and principles to sustainably provide goods and services across all economic sectors. Ecuador will use the WDCD as an occasion to showcase its nation-wide efforts in making sustainable land management the principal tool for the development of bio-economy.

WDCD was established by the UN General Assembly 23 years ago to raise awareness on the global and national actions that address desertification, land degradation and drought.

Source: Text: UN Image Wellness News at Weighing Success

 

World Day of the African Child – 16 June

Conflict, poverty and gender bias create toxic environments for children

This year the focus is to ‘Leave No Child Behind for Africa’s Development,’ a theme inspired around the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs put emphasis on targeting those left furthest behind first. Children account for half of Africa’s population, so they must be prioritised, empowered and given a say, if development is to benefit all.

A new report launched by Save the Children on June 1st 2018, The Many Faces of Exclusion, reveals how poverty, conflict and discrimination against girls are putting more than 1.2 billion children – over half of children worldwide – at risk for an early end to their childhood. In East and Southern Africa, (120 million) are at high or extremely high risk of missing out on childhood. Childhood should be a time to play, learn and grow.

Save the Children’s report includes a ranking of 175 countries where childhood is most and least threatened as a result of poor health, malnutrition, exclusion from education, child labour, child marriage, early pregnancy and extreme violence. African countries comprise 19 (10 from Sub-Saharan Africa) out of the bottom 20 in the global index.

It is imperative that African governments and other stakeholders put concerted efforts to improve childhoods for Children as the current state of affairs is appalling. In this region the report found out:

13% of children in Somalia do not live to see their 5th birthday. This is the highest rate in the world.

South Sudan is 5th-worst performing country meaning most children are missing out on childhood. It has the highest rate of children out of school in the world (67%) and the second highest rate of displacement globally (31% forcibly displaced). South Sudan is also in the top five for child marriage at 40%.

In East and Southern Africa, one-fifth of girls aged 15 to 19 are currently married or in union.

One third of children in East and Southern Africa (34.4%) are moderately or severely stunted. In fact, the region claims three of the top 5 countries with the highest stunting rates in the world: Madagascar, Eritrea and Burundi, where about half or more of all children under age 5 are stunted.

Harmful child labour rates increased from 21% to 22%.

David Wright, Save the Children’s Regional Director, said that while progress is being made in many parts of the world—including in East and Southern Africa—it is not happening quickly enough.

“More than half the world’s children are being left behind because they are a girl, because they are poor or because they are growing up in a war-zone. Early marriage, child labour and malnutrition are just some of the life-changing events that can rob children of their childhood. Without urgent action, we’ll never meet the promises made three years ago by every country at the UN in 2015 to ensure that by 2030 every child survives, learns and is protected. Children account for half of Africa’s population, so must be a priority.”

Source : Text : https:reliefweb.int Image : gazettadelsud.it

 

11th Sunday of the Year, B

The gospel accounts, especially that of Matthew, offers us many texts on the kingdom of God.
The specialists on those gospel texts discuss among themselves about the meaning of this term:
“the kingdom of God”.
They generally agree that it refers to God’s special relationship with human beings,
his presence and action among us – a presence and action accepted by people to guide their lives.

One of the parables of this Sunday (11th Sunday of Year B – Mk.4:26-34) speaks in this way:

“This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man throws seed on the land.
Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake,
The seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know.
Of its own accord, the land produces, first the shoot, then the ear;
Then the full grain in the ear.”

A few words struck me in the text: “Of its own accord…”
As if the seed had a will of its own!
Yet, mysteriously, it follows the laws of nature ‘rooted’ – literally – in the depths of itself.

The seed has no will of its own but… we do!
And our will should be … ‘in accord’ with God!
The expression is unusual, perhaps, but it is theologically true!

Our daily life and actions,
our plans and occupations,
our projects and our goals should be according to God’s will.
His presence should be the inspiration of our lives.
And pleasing him should be what we aim at from day to day… of our own accord!
Simple? Yes.
Easy? Perhaps not…
But God’s Spirit in us – the vital energy enabling us to grow – can also enable us to live in this way

Note: Another reflection is available in French on a different theme at: https://image-i-nations.com/11e-dimanche-de-lannee-b/

Source: Images: inkfish.fieldsofscience.com   VideoBlocks

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – 15 June

The United Nations (UN) has designated June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). World Elder Abuse Awareness Day brings together senior citizens, their caregivers, and governments to combat the problem of elder abuse.

The day aims to focus global attention on the problem of physical, emotional, and financial abuse of elders. It also seeks to understand the challenges and opportunities presented by an ageing population, and brings together senior citizens, and their caregivers, national and local government, academics, and the private sector to exchange ideas about how best to reduce incidents of violence towards elders, increase reporting of such abuse, and to develop elder friendly policies.

Background
Currently, the world is undergoing significant demographic changes. Estimates indicate that by 2050, the global population of people above the age of 60 will exceed the number of younger people. These changes have led to a worldwide recognition of the problems and challenges that face the elderly. Research has shown that elderly abuse, neglect, violence, and exploitation is one of the biggest issues facing senior citizens around the world. World Health Organization data suggests that 4 to 6 per cent of elderly suffer from some form of abuse, a large percentage of which goes unreported.

The purpose of the WEAAD is to encourage communities to recognize the problem of elderly abuse, and for countries to create policies that foster respect for elders and provide them the tools to continue to be productive citizens.

Source: Text: timeanddate.com Images: Global Ageing Network  A Celebration of Women

 

World Blood Donor Day – 14 June

The history of blood donation goes back further than you might expect, reaching as far back as the 17th century. The medical specialists of
the time knew that blood was a vital element in the body and losing too much of it was bound to have tragic consequences on the patient. So it was that experimentation began, and a whole new breed of heroes was born that contribute their blood so that others may live. Blood Donors save lives every day by giving of themselves so those accident victims and those in need of transfusions for surgeries can live.

History of World Blood Donor Day
The first transfusions were done using poorly understood science and resulted in some rather tragic results for the patients. Richard lower was the first one to examine animals and blood circulation and finding ways to stop blood clotting. While he was of course only working with animals, he managed to drain the blood off of a medium sized dog and then transfuse the blood of a large mastiff into the smaller animal. Both dogs recovered with no appreciable ill effects.

So it was that he gained great notoriety for his efforts, and was asked to speak on and teach this technique to the Royal Society. There were some odd beliefs about blood back then, and the first human transfusion involved putting the blood of a sheep into a patient who was suffering from a mild form of insanity. It was thought that perhaps the blood of so gentle a creature as a lamb might help to calm his insanity. The act of transferring animal blood into patients was strongly questioned by the tightly superstitious and morally rigid authorities of the time, and the practice was outlawed. Vanishing for 150 years.

It was an obstetrician that brought blood transfusions back into modern medical technology, starting in 1818. After he saved the life of a woman who had hemorrhaged terribly after giving birth, he started publishing works on how it was done and the study thereof. Throughout his life, he performed 10 transfusions, 5 of which saved the lives of the recipients.World Blood Donor Day celebrates the hard work and daring of these early medical professionals and recognizes the efforts they put into developing a technology that saves so many lives today.

Source: Text: www.daysoftheyear.com Image: iStock

International Albinism Awareness Day – 13 June

June 13 is International Albinism Awareness Day. It is a UN effort to stop the brutalities against people with albinism.

Genetic Condition
Albinism is a genetic condition resulting in little or no pigmentation in the skin, hair, and eyes. In several cultures around the world, and particularly in many African countries, people with albinism live in constant fear of murder. Others experience severe discrimination and bullying.

Murders and Mutilations
Hundreds of albinos have been brutally murdered and mutilated in African countries in the past decades. Local superstitions claim their body parts can bring luck and prosperity. Another widespread rumor is that albinos are evil spirits.

The country with the highest percentage of albinos is believed to be Tanzania. In 2013, an independent documentary called “In the Shadow of the Sun” was released. The film by director Harry Freeland tells the story of Josephat Torner from Tanzania, who has albinism. Together, they spent years traveling around Tanzania to spread information about the widely misunderstood disorder.

The documentary, along with several other films, have been powerful tools in the fight against persecution of people with albinism, which is sometimes abbreviated PWA.

The Right to Dignity
International Albinism Awareness Day was adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 18, 2014. The resolution “encourages UN Member States to continue their efforts to protect and preserve the rights of persons with albinism to life, dignity and security, as well as their right not to be subject to torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and to continue their efforts to ensure equal access for persons with albinism to employment, education, justice and the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health.”

Source: Text: timeanddate.com Image: www.albinism.org